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Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral disease of cattle caused by a capripoxvirus (as sheep and goat pox viruses); it is characterised by fever, nodules on the skin, and it may lead to severe losses, especially in naive animals. Originally affecting cattle across Africa, the disease has spread outside the continent with outbreaks in Israel and Lebanon in 2012–2013 and currently (2013–2016) epizootics in Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Azerbaijan, Albania and the Russian Federation are reported.
To control the current LSD epidemic in the European Union (EU), the competent authorities of the affected Member States (MS) are currently implementing a total stamping-out policy of the affected holdings (stamping out the whole herd after detection of an infected case) coupled with vaccination using live homologous vaccines since there is consensus that stamping out alone does not seem sufficient to effectively control the disease, in line with the advice provided in the 2015 EFSA’s scientific opinion.
In accordance with Article 29 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, the Commission asks the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA): to assess the implications in disease spread and persistence from the implementation of a partial stamping-out policy (killing and destruction of clinically affected animals only) in holdings where the presence of LSD has been confirmed, against the current EFSA’s advice and policy in place for total stamping out of infected herds coupled with vaccination.
Due to the fast spread of LSDV throughout south-eastern Europe, it appears particularly important to provide insights into the effect of vaccinating susceptible animals before the virus has been introduced in a region or country on the spread of LSDV.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy of cervids. The development of the disease is slow and affected cervids show loss of body condition and altered behaviour. Once clinical disease occurs, death is inevitable. The disease is present in North America, where it is endemic in some countries of the USA.
On last April, the Norwegian Veterinary Institute diagnosed CWD in a free-ranging reindeer from South-Norway. This is the first case of the disease detected in Europe, as well as the first detection of natural infection in reindeer worldwide. After this case, three other cases were diagnosed, the last one at the end of August.
Crimean–Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a tick-borne viral disease caused by a virus belonging to the Bunyaviridae family. The virus circulates in a silent enzootic tick-vertebrate-tick cycle, but causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks in humans. The disease is endemic in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and in some Asian countries, but no autochthonous were reported in Western Europe until recently.
On 31 August 2016 the autonomous Community of Madrid, Spain, reported two cases of infection with Crimean–Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus. The primary case is a 62-year-old man with potential exposure to CCHF virus in the countryside in the province of Ávila (Spain). The secondary case is a 50-year-old healthcare worker who attended the primary case during his ICU admission. These are the first autochthonous clinical cases of CCHF in Spain and in south-western Europe. Recent detection of CCHF virus in ticks from the autonomous Community of Extremadura in western Spain also indicates the circulation of CCHF virus among wildlife.
The European Centre for Disease prevention and Control (ECDC) has implemented a Rapid Risk Assessment to assess the probability of further infections. The different risks associated with tick-borne transmission, nosocomial transmission and transmission via substances of human origin are outlined in the document, together with suggested options for response. The assessment highlighted that, although the probability of further infections there remains low, additional sporadic cases may occur in the future.
The report with the outcomes of the study was published on September the 9th and is available at: http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/_layouts/forms/Publication_DispForm.aspx?List=4f55ad51-4aed-4d32-b960-af70113dbb90&ID=1570.
A new mechanism of bacterial resistance to colistin (caused by the mcr-1 gene), was recently discovered and appears to have the potential to spread rapidly. Thus, the European Commission asked to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to deliver new advice on the use of the antibiotic colistin in animals.
On the 27th of July, the EMA has published the update to its 2013 scientific advice on the use of colistin, following a public consultation. The recommendations say that colistin-containing medicines should only be used as a second line treatment in animals and that colistin is used only to treat clinical conditions for which there are no effective alternative treatments. Colistin sale should be minimised across all European Union (EU) Member States (the goal is to its sales by 65%), to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance.
Additional information can be found at http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/news_and_events/news/2016/07/news_detail_002579.jsp&mid=WC0b01ac058004d5c1
The report is available at http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Press_release/2016/07/WC500211081.pdf